How to Use a Hand Brake to Bend SMI Details

How do you use a hand brake to make SMI details? In this article, we discuss how to use a Van Mark Metal Master 20 to make w-valley and vented ridge SMI details.

Finding and choosing a hand brake for your unique situation is just part of the process — once you have the right product, you still have to know how to use it to bend the correct shapes for your metal roofing project. With instruction from hand brake experts and a step-by-step guide to follow, metal roofing contractors can effectively utilize hand brakes to complete their projects.

At Sheffield Metals International (SMI), we know how to provide our customers with the information they need to succeed. For over five years now, we’ve been creating content in the form of videos, articles, and downloadable guides to inform our audience on best practices in the metal roofing industry. We’re more than just a metal coil and sheet provider — we’re here to offer you guidance and valuable information to thrive in this business.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create  SMI recommended details with Van Mark’s Metal Master 20, using full-length, 24-gauge metal. Read more to find out how to create Sheffield Metals’ w-valley and vented ridge details.

How to Use a Van Mark Hand Brake to Make a W-Valley SMI Detail

Sheffield Metals Valley Detail diagram

1. Measure and Load Your Metal into the Hand Brake

Make your measurements and mark them on the metal, then line up those marks with the stainless steel edge of the hand brake.

2. Lock the Brake

Van Mark Metal Master 20 locked position

Lock the brake tightly.

3. Make a 90° Bend

Van Mark Metal Master 20 hand brake at a 90 degree bend

Use the multi-gauge to measure and bend the metal 90°. It’s possible to bend 24-gauge metal to 90° with one person. If you do have another person to help, it can make the process easier, as each person can use the handles located on either side of the hand brake.

4. Make a 45° Bend

Two Van Mark employees flipping a piece of metal to put into a hand brake

Reinsert the metal on the other end and lock the brake, bend 45°.

4. Flip, Lock the Brake, Make a 45° Bend

Unlock the brake and flip the metal around so the opposite side is loaded into the brake. Then lock the brake and make a bend at 45°. This will give you your finished w-valley SMI detail.

Finished Sheffield Metals W-valley detail

If you have more pitch in the roof, you can bend it to a higher degree on either side.

How to Use a Van Mark Hand Brake to Make a Vented Ridge SMI Detail

Sheffield Metals Vented Ridge detail diagram

1. Measure and Mark Your Metal, Load Into Brake

Make measurements and mark on the metal where you need to make your hems, then load into the hand brake.

2. Lock Brake, Bend Metal

Bending metal in a Van Mark Metal Master 20

Firmly lock the hand brake, then pull the bottom handles as far as you can to bend the metal.  

3. Drop Metal Into Hemming Pocket, Preload Hinge

Placing metal in a Van Mark Metal Master 20 hemming pocket

Unlock the brake and take the metal out. Then re-lock the brake, drop the metal into the hemming pocket, and preload the hinge, hem metal. Preloading the hinge will give you more leverage to make the bend.

4. Flip and Repeat for the Other Side

Take the metal out of the hand brake, flip the metal, then repeat steps one through three.

5. Open Brake Back Up, Insert Metal on Measurements, Bend 90°

Re-insert the metal and bend 90°.

5. Flip Metal, Bend 90°

Placing a piece of metal in the Van Mark Metal Master 20

Spin the metal again to the opposite side, lock it into the brake, then bend to just under 90°.

6. Bend 30°

Making a 30-degree bend with the Van Mark Metal Master 20 hand brake

Unlock the brake, line your marks up on the stainless-steel edge, bend to 30° for your finished vented ridge SMI detail.

Depending on the ridge cap, you could make that 45° or whatever is needed.

A finished Vented Ridge Sheffield Metals detail

To find high-quality hand brakes for your next metal roofing project, visit Click the link to find an authorized distributor near you, or send an email to find the right product for you.

How Do I Find Quality Materials for My Next Metal Roofing Project?

Even with a quality hand brake and the skills to bend the shapes you want, you still need to find materials that will last long after installation. It can be challenging to find a metal roofing supplier you can trust, and that can offer you reliable metal roofing materials that will stand the test of time.

At Sheffield Metals International, we’re committed to giving our customers the best metal coil and sheets on the market. Talk to our expert team today to find what you need, including additional accessories like clip fasteners or pre-tested panel profiles for standing seam metal roof and wall systems.

Contact our team today to find the right products for your project.

Contact Sheffield Metals today!